Of the Thousand Years of the august Kingdom of Christ, and of the Seventh Trumpet, or the Interval from the Destruction of the Beast.
That extraordinary and august kingdom of Christ, repeatedly mentioned in the Apocalypse, and of whose approach the chorus of animated beings and elders rejoicing together, are wont to sing hymns and doxologies to God, every where succeeds to the beast and Babylon, subdued and led in triumph. For, first, in the 20th chapter, where this reign of a thousand years is expressly treated of, in the number of those who reign with Christ, are they who have not worshipped the beast, nor his image, nor received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands. Do not these words sufficiently show that this reign of Christ succeeded the reign of the beast, his image, and his marks? For why should this eulogium be bestowed on the children of the kingdom, that they had not adored the beast, &c. unless the beast had preceded it? For the good desert is certainly antecedent to the remuneration and reward. But this kingdom, (as the series of the narration points out) is bestowed on the saints as a reward of their faith and constancy, their cause having been first heard in solemn judgment; the assembly of which is described in these words, |And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them;| that is, the power of judging facts, &c. Therefore the time in which, while the beast was reigning, the saints approved their faith and their constancy to God, preceded the judgment. The remuneration follows the decree then established.
2. The same likewise farther appears from the paean of the elders and living creatures, which was sung at the fall of Babylon: |Hallelou'ia, ?hoti ebasileuse Kurios? ?ho Theos ho pantokrator,| v.7. |Let us rejoice, and exult, and give glory to him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready.| For that the kingdom in both cases is the same, I cannot entertain a doubt.
3. But most clearly of all does it appear, from c. xi. v.15, 16, &c. when, at the sound of the seventh trumpet, the days of the witnesses, and the months of the beast, and the Gentiles being concluded, there was that exclamation in heaven, |The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders who sat on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshipped God, saying, We give thanks, O Lord God Almighty, who art, and who vast, and who art to come, because Thou hast taken to Thee thy great power, and hast reigned.|
This is that consummation of the mystery of God, proclaimed by the prophets, which, at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, the angel had before predicted should come to pass; when neither the months of the beast, nor the days of the witnesses in mourning, nor any part of the period of |a time, and times, and half a time,| should remain to be completed, precisely according to the prediction of Daniel, c. vii. v.25, 26. concerning the oecumenical dominion of Christ, or the reign of the saints, which was to take place after the same times and the same sessions of judgment. Likewise where the same angel who here addresses John, in the same gesture, manner, and (what is chiefly to be remarked) under the same form of swearing, is said to have asseverated that the interval of a time, and times, and half a time, being completed, the dispersion of the holy people, and with it, the last of wonderful events, should be consummated.
Whoever desires a farther confirmation, let him apply the characters of the foregoing synchronism to the present; for they afford, as I have said, mutual corroboration to each other.